Ok, so you have come to the realization, that whilst you can do your own marketing, it is time your brought in a professional digital agency. Perhaps it is for your branding or maybe for strategy, or maybe a comprehensive set of digital marketing needs. But how do you know which one to partner with when you know for a fact that the number of digital agencies in Australia is constantly increasing? We’re hoping that you are on this page because you are looking to use us, or at least are weighing us up, so the question is, what do you need to know about selecting the right agency partner for you. And what service delivery model should you go for?
When you are confronted with a variety of considerations, which one should you choose? A well-priced digital service that acts more as a production house and promises speedy results? Or a high-quality agency that is on the pricier side?
Let’s find out.
Digital Marketing Agency Horror Stories
We’ve all heard a story or two about companies hiring a digital marketing agency, things starting smoothly an then, later on, finding out things have come unstuck because of unmet expectations and misaligned goals and outcomes.
These horror stories can actually be grouped into a few key categories. If you can avoid these, then you are on the right track to finding the right partner and the right service delivery model.
In an attempt to acquire a client, many agencies look to sweeten the pot by making promises that in reality they just can’t keep. For SEO agencies, the common one is ranking first, or on the first page, for the keywords the client wants to rank in in an X amount of days or months.
While there are agencies who can deliver this, most just don’t have the tools, experience, or expertise to do so. Aside from that, there’s Google’s ever-changing algorithm, making it even harder to rank in Google let alone be number one in some keywords.
The other thing some agencies do is make promises for you to be ranked first, but do not explain that the words you will rank for are rarely searched phrases that will do little to nought for your traffic, thus rendering the result useless.
As you’d expect, through conferences, online forums and general discussions we have seen many cases like these, And guess what? A lot of companies were promised at least one keyword at Number 1 in Google’s SERPs in a short span of time but IT never happened. There are also agencies who promise an increase of thousands of followers in a client’s social media account but never deliver in the end. This and a litany of other extraordinary claims that actually never see the light of day make agencies that overpromise, a drag on the rest of the industry.
The result is wasted money and sour relationships.
“Here’s what we do!”
One of the mistakes or diversions that agencies usually make is to give clients a rundown of their services: web development, content creation, social media marketing, analytics, PPC advertising, video marketing, and so on. They pitch these services as leading-edge, and go to pains to explain how these will benefit you. They pay lip-service to the problems clients face and focus on the services that they can provide, rather than offering clients the solutions they need.
In a reddit discussion, one company said that in their desperation to go digital, management hired an agency who promised to take care of all facets of their overall go-to-market strategy and branding, including SEO and PPC management, graphic design, hosting, content management, web development, and social media management. The agency brought their best game to the table, but failure by the managers to delve further and understand how the work would be done meant they failed to see that there were no systems, nor people in place who were going to be able to scale up and supply the solutions promised.
Furthermore, because the agency wanted to showcase the range of expertise they had, they failed to identify what the main issue of the client was. Ultimately, the failure to address the problem and the non-compliance of irrelevant deliverables meant the company failed to achieve their digital goals and are still in limbo having spent money that achieved nothing.
“Price points not pain points.”
When you start focussing on how much money you can save a company at the expense of actually taking away a point of (or multiple) points of pain that they have, you are in a race to the bottom. Whilst all companies want value for money and to save money on production costs, cutting corners, or saving money at the expense of delivering the right solution is counterproductive.
The danger of partnering with this type of agency is putting your brand’s exposure at risk. You’ll most likely be part of a service model that uses a cookie-cutter solution where all clients, regardless of circumstances, priorities and marketing goals get the same approach. And that’s the crux of it, if you are not focussed on showcasing how you will achieve the goals for a client, nor on taking away pain points, then price points become irrelevant.
Speed or Price: Which is which?
So, as above, as often as not, agencies create problems for themselves, but in doing so, create problems for their clients. Perhaps it is because when you do not know what you do not know, the promises made in the pitching process can sound all too alluring, or the technical jargon used, can make you feel that you have found a partner who is going to take you places.
Whether the latter promise instantaneous results or provide services at a low price, organisations often end up wasting their most valuable resources—time and money—because they’re not being dutiful.
So when choosing a digital marketing agency, which service business model should you go for? Is it the one that offers speedy results? Or the agency that offers an attractive price? Or a retainer, or a project fee? So many options, how do you know?
At Three Piece Marketing, we are firm believers of value creation. We ensure that our clients get real value for every cent they spend with us. Our focus is on first understanding your business, then on knowing your pain points so that we can develop a roadmap that delivers what you need. Then we work to assess your resources (what can you do versus what do you need help with so you can spend your money wisely) and the opportunities available.
Lastly, we understand what is best for you and your cashflow. Do you want a 6 month road map, do you need to do a retainer so you know what you are up for each month and we can tailor the volume of work to this, or do you want to chunk the work into a project and get what you need done – now?
We don’t waste our time producing something that we aren’t sure will help your customers choose your products and services. Instead, we focus on meaningful ways to get your message out there so that your target audience will find their way to your brand.
Where money is no object is our mantra. This means we take the question of how expensive something is off the table, because what we do is deliver outstanding value that generates what you need – an increase in sales. This is what we believe should be the primary consideration be when choosing a digital marketing agency to partner with. Speed, price, and everything else are secondary.